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Senators ask US border agency about reported tracking of journalists

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Two senior U.S. senators asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday to provide information on a report that the agency inappropriately tracked seven American journalists covering the migrant caravan from Central America last year.

Republican Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Ron Wyden, the panel’s top Democrat, wrote a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan asking for an unclassified briefing no later than Thursday.

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They cited news reports alleging the border agency and the Department of Homeland Security “inappropriately flagged for scrutiny seven American journalists.”

“Unless CBP had reason to believe the individuals in question were inciting violence or physical conflict, it is deeply concerning that CBP appears to have targeted American journalists at our borders,” Grassley and Wyden wrote.

Representatives of the agency did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment on Monday.

The senators referred to an NBC News report last week about documents listing 10 journalists, an attorney and 47 others, some of them labeled organizers and instigators from the United States and elsewhere.

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The NBC affiliate in San Diego, KNSD-TV, said it received the documents from an unidentified source in the Department of Homeland Security, which includes Customs and Border Protection.

At least three journalists and the attorney listed on the documents were unable to enter Mexico to work because of alerts placed on their passports and others have been subject to secondary screenings when crossing the border, the news station reported.

Reuters did not see the documents and was unable independently to corroborate NBC’s findings. One of the journalists the station said was listed was Go Nakamura, a photographer who has done several freelance assignments for Reuters and began covering the caravan on Nov. 10.

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CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in a statement last week that the tracking was related to assaults on agents that occurred during November and January. CBP does not target journalists for inspections, he said.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Peter Cooney

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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George Washington Bridge shut down for all traffic as Bomb Squad investigates suspicious device

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Traffic in New York City slowed to gridlock on Friday after authorities shut down the world's busiest vehicular bridge.

"All traffic on the George Washington Bridge has been closed off due to reports of a suspicious device on the span linking New York and New Jersey," CBS New York reported Thursday.

"According to police sources, the Port Authority Police Department has called in the Bergen County Bomb Squad to help with their investigation," CBS added. "Sources tell CBS2 the NYPD has not been called in yet to assist with the possible threat."

https://twitter.com/PANYNJ_GWB/status/1164724186880675841

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Maddow walks through existence of a ‘whistleblower’ alleging the IRS is mishandling Trump’s taxes

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Thursday on the "confetti canon" of new filings in the legal battle between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the House Ways and Means Committee over access to President Donald Trump's tax returns.

Maddow reported on Exhibit QQ in the latest filings, which is a letter from Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"On July 29, 2019, the Committee received an unsolicited communication from a Federal employee setting forth credible allegations of 'evidence of possible misconduct' -- specifically, potential 'inappropriate efforts to influence' the mandatory audit program," Exhibit QQ read.

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Texas governor busted sending racist call-to-arms a day before El Paso attack: ‘take matters into our own hands’

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On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) tweeted out a message of unity and promised to work to reduce violence in his state, in the wake of the shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured:

Today we had hearings responding to the tragic shooting in El Paso.

We focused on community healing, combating domestic terrorism, reducing hateful ideologies, & keeping guns out of hands of deranged killers while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.

We’ll keep TX safe.#txlege pic.twitter.com/ymct4aiSgK

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